Anze Cokl // @anzecokl
Brush up on your Slovenian and get ready for the epitome of adventure. Anze is a mountain biking, paragliding, backcountry skiing, photographer, and a diver with an engineering degree. He will have you itching for your next adventure as we chat with him about blood pumping climbs, what adventure means to him, and even a few tips on how to get into mountain adventuring.
If you could give your younger self a few pieces of advice you think would be beneficial, what would they be?
Looking back now, I would travel (even) more. Seeing places, cultures and simply moving around on adventures is the whole essence of using your brain and wit to help yourself in situations you can't buy with money back at home.
Though it's not too late, I'd learn Spanish and Chinese. It would save me so many troubles in so many parts of the world I've been to.
Can you tell us about a time you were unsure if you would make it home from an adventure?
Luckily I've not had many such experiences. There were however moments, when I got really scared as I knew that I'd been close to the point of no return. This had mostly happened climbing in my earlier years, still gaining experience (well actually we all gain experience until end of life). Solo unroped climbs and/or a couple of run-outs, where falling would mean the bitter end.
There were also other times when we were in an actual jail in Kazakhstan for not having our visas stamped at the exact right spot. And of course the fear of being mugged (or worse) in some really dark alleys of cities, where you get your life taken for a wristwatch in a jiffy.
You have done so much. Alpine adventures, rock climbing, mountain gliding, mountain biking. Is there anything that still scares you when you embark on these adventures?
I still often get scared when I am out of my comfort zone. Sometimes even before. But I look at fear as the inevitable guardian, which sharpens my senses and helps my body perform at the absolute maximum to keep me safe.
I think fear is part of this adventurous life I live - you know that you're reaching your performance cap by getting closer to the zone where you feel less comfortable. Everything you do in this zone is so rewarding and satisfying that you wish to do it more the next time.
By adventuring in my case I am long over the "just" athletic or purely sports means... I want adventures I embark on not only to be a workout, but a challenge in many fields, including capturing these moments.
How has photography and filmmaking shaped your outdoor experiences?
Capturing adventures had definitely shaped the overall experience. Coming home from an adventure I've had great time on without media, I feel like I've left something behind. And I actually have.
Since I started photography/videography, it's always been an integral part of what I do out there. It had not only provided me with so many spontaneous opportunities I had never dreamt of, but also forced me to stop whatever I was doing, think of it as a moment in time and tried to capture it, for me and myself, for my ever lasting memories.
To perceive nature better, taking the time necessary to compose an image and by doing so sucking in the beautiful world we live in.
I do only have one life and I love to see the spark my photos and videos ignite in people either less fortunate to ever be able to wonder out there or those still thinking of jumping in. It's an amazing experience overall.
If someone wanted to begin adventuring into mountain sports, what advice would you share with them?
Start slowly. Gain experience gradually. Do mountain courses even if you're not into the extremes. It will give you the basics to survive out there, play it safe(er) and long-term. And most importantly - do it the way YOU like it. With friends YOU like most. It's all about the overall experience and there's nothing better than going on an adventure with soul mates.
What do you have planned for future travel and adventure?
There's too much I'd like and not enough time to do it all, but to name a few: another Alaska, Antarctica, Bhutan...